As you all know, I absolutely love living in North Carolina. The state is absolutely beautiful and there is so much to do, no matter if you are a foodie, an outdoor lover, a spa lover, or a shopper. Seriously – no matter who you are, how old you are, or what you enjoy doing, there is something in this beautiful state for you. I have so many favorite spots and places in North Carolina, but I wanted to share a few with you today, specifically if you want to get outside with the upcoming warmer spring and summer weather headed our way sooner rather than later. Here are 6 places to visit in NC:
Are you a beach lover? If so, the outer banks are for you! The outer banks are a 200-mile-long string of barrier islands in North Carolina and Virginia. They pretty much cover most of the NC coastline and have become a major tourist destination, since they are known for their wide, open beachfronts. Most stay in a hotel, but you can also camp at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which is a unique and fun experience, especially for kids and adventure lovers. Although the outer banks are known for the sand and sun, it also has some history behind it, as well. In fact, The Wright Brothers’ first flight (in a controlled, powered plane) took off on the outer banks near Kitty Hawk! There is an airfield still located there today, which is neat to see.
Food Halls in Raleigh
Calling all food lovers – this one’s for you! While there are food halls all around North Carolina, I want to talk about two in Raleigh in this article: Morgan Street Food Hall and Transfer Co. Food Hall! Morgan Street opened in the summer of 2018 and it has been voted in the top 10 best new food halls in the country in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards in January, 2019. It’s located in Raleigh’s warehouse district and was highly anticipated, with unique dining experiences galore. The second food hall, Transfer Co. Food Hall, is in a 43,000 sq. ft. warehouse in the Olde East neighborhood. They have stations such as an oyster bar, a beloved Argentine-style catering service, amazing bagels, Dank Burritos (which won the National Food Truck Rookie of The Year), and so much more. You cannot go wrong with either food hall, but check out their website to view their current vendors before choosing one…or maybe just do a food crawl through both of them to add to the fun!
Mount Mitchell State Park
Mount Mitchell is the highest point in the East, so it will be on pretty much every “must-do” list that you see about North Carolina – or the Carolina’s, in general. The 6,684-foot summit gives you some of the best and longest mountain views in the state, offering 85-mile views. Insane, right?! It really is so beautiful. According to the state’s official tourism website, Visit NC, “The elevation also contributes to chilly or cool temperatures year-round. The mountain’s spruce-fir ecosystem is home to flora and fauna, more closely resembling that of New England and Canada than the surrounding Southeast. One of the best ways to experience Mount Mitchell’s ecological diversity is hiking one or more of the mountain’s seven trails.”
Jeter Mountain Farm
Jeter Mountain Farm is a beautiful Asheville wedding venue and also a working farm. Their farm spans over 400 acres of Western NC’s Blue Ridge Mountains, offering a view of rolling hills, fields, and orchards. “Jeter Mountain Farm offers the highest quality fruit and produce around, magnificent barns worthy of hosting weddings and special events, and a farm fertile for forming memories that your family won’t soon forget,” according to their website. “It is the perfect place for your family to build traditions and to enjoy time together. Dating back to 1813, the farm has a long history; we look forward to you making your memories here, and becoming a part of history at Jeter Mountain Farm!” Jeter Mountain Farm has a 4.9 star rating on Facebook, a rating of 4.8 on WeddingWire, and 4.8 stars on Google.
They are known for hosting amazing weddings in their (over) 35,000 sq. ft. indoor and outdoor event space and they promise a wedding day to remember, that is as stress-free as possible. In addition to hosting weddings, Jeter Mountain Farm also offers fun events for the whole family! One that is coming up shortly is their ‘Donut Days’ event, which will be hosted in their BEAUTIFUL, newly completed barn, the Cider Barn. This awesome event will take place over the weekend of March 28th and 29th.
Chimney Rock State Park
Apparently, Chimney Rock State Park is an icon in Western North Carolina. It is about an hour southeast of Asheville, which is an easy day trip if you are staying in the city. You will be able to enjoy views of Hickory Nut Gorge, Lake Lure, and the entire Piedmont region to the east when you climb 26 stories of stairs along the Outcroppings Trail. Or, if you want to visit the highest peak in the park (coming in at 2,480 feet high), take the Skyline Trail, which will bring you straight to Exclamation Point…and trust me, when you are posting a picture of the top on Instagram, your caption will definitely end with an exclamation point because it is jaw droppingly beautiful.
Quite a few movies were filmed around this area — The Last of the Mohicans movie was filmed along The Skyline Trail and movies such as Dirty Dancing and Thunder Road have been partially filmed in Lake Lure, one of the most beautiful spots to visit in North Carolina, in my opinion. Others believe so, as well, because there are actually many tours of Lake Lure.
If you want a city to stay in that is hip and interesting, I highly recommend looking into Asheville. It has a vibrant art scene, tons of really awesome shops + restaurants, and it is one of the best places to go if you are a beer-lover, or a spa-lover. Romantic Asheville says, “Asheville is a top destination for spas, massage and holistic wellness. Considered by many as the New Age Mecca of the East, people have traveled to our western North Carolina mountains as a place of healing oneself for centuries. The region features a diverse mix of spa treatments and alternative wellness virtually unheard-of in smaller cities.”